Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Michael Chandler would appear to have a bit of a problem on his hands.
“Iron” crossed over into the UFC late in his career, already a well-traveled Lightweight very arguably past his best years. Fortunately, he’s still really damn good, and by embracing entertainment above all else, Chandler’s five-fight UFC run has been wildly memorable. He hasn’t won every fight, but Chandler has certainly proven his legitimacy and made himself a fan favorite.
More importantly, he’s lined himself up for the biggest money fight of his career. Chandler set himself up for a showdown vs. Conor McGregor, and coaching The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) opposite him was supposed to help solidify that fact (check out the latest episode recap).
Unfortunately, that’s looking less like a guarantee. McGregor remains absent from the USADA testing pool, which continually pushes back his potential return date. Now, he may no longer be eligible to fight on the final pay-per-view (PPV) of 2023, which is just about six months away.
The match up as a whole could get scrapped if something doesn’t change soon. While giving away his own blood and urine samples, Chandler issued a plea hours ago, wondering “Where the fook is that guy?”
No joke… WHERE THE FOOK IS THAT GUY? pic.twitter.com/pX5RmOFSdK— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) June 21, 2023
“Alright guys,” an unusually sad-looking Chandler sighs. “You guys have all seen the news: Conor is not in USADA. 179 days until December 16, which is supposed to be the last pay-per-view of the year. Comically, USADA shows up at my door. Today! To add insult to injury.
Where you at boy?!?”
A very good question.
Jon Anik was a little too blown away by Marvin Vettori’s durability. Understandable!
The official end of an era.
❌ Fighter removed: Amanda Nunes— UFC Roster Watch (@UFCRosterWatch) June 20, 2023
Yeah, everyone reading this probably saw Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker when it happened. Still, everyone reading this should take the time to rewatch these clips with the sound up, because holy crap ...
Is this the worst UFC card yet of the Apex era?
I would rather watch 1000 Jake Paul fights and a dozen Holly Holm main events than see Mark Coleman be allowed to fight again. Please, Athletic Commissions, do your damn job.
There isn't a commission - or human - on the planet who should allow Mark Coleman to fight again in any capacity.— Talen Guzman (@TalenGuzman) June 20, 2023
"Celebrity #boxing" or not, if you advocate for Coleman stepping into a fight again, you're just a bad person who wants to see an old man get hurt. #MMATwitter #MMA pic.twitter.com/GDhQBuobDV
Dave Bautista is officially a Cesar Gracie brown belt.
Does Jeremiah Wells not deserve a step up in competition after a 4-0 UFC start? It’s a fun fight, but this strikes me as odd.
Slips, rips, and KO clips
A rare bit of romance for the column!
For my own submissions to the “perfect knockout” prompt, I’ll offer up Michael Chandler’s right hand vs. Patricky Freire, Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping (obviously), and Kevin Lee vs. Gregor Gillespie.
Polo Reyes doesn’t always win, but he’s a legendary member of the swang-n-bang crew.
An absolute war between Adam Assenza and Polo Reyes for the lightweight title in the BTC main event.— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) June 19, 2023
You can't bring Reyes anywhere without chaos happening. USA, Mexico, Canada, it just follows him. #BTC20 pic.twitter.com/wSf1M6FiLC
Frogs can be brutal, apparently.
Midnight Music: The new Queens of the Stone Age LP, In Times New Roman, released last Friday, and it feels like a victory lap for one of the best guitar bands of the last 30 years.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.